April 21, 2005


Trade Representative nominee before Finance Committee

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said today he will support Representative Robert Portman to become the next U.S. Trade Representative. Portman, President Bushâ??s nominee to replace Robert Zoellick, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee today. â??Representative Portman indicated he would approach trade issues by seeking to level the playing field. That is music to my ears and those of others in Congress who have long felt past trade agreements benefit our trading partners more than they do ourselves,â?? Crapo said. â??Coming from the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Portman said heâ??d work closely with the Congress and we take him at his word.â??Crapo added, â??I am hopeful that under your watch, Congressman Portman, we can see fair resolution to the U.S. â?? Canadian softwood lumber dispute, the Hynix WTO case involving Micron, the resumption of beef trade with Japan and other foreign markets, and an increase trade of pharmaceuticals that protect intellectual property rights,â?? Crapo said. â??We also must see an expansion of market opportunities for U.S. commodities, the breakdown of trade barriers, and the negotiation of trade agreements that do not compromise important U.S. industries, such as our nationâ??s sugar industry.â??The Finance Committee could vote on Portmanâ??s nomination next week.